Faculty Spotlight: Entrepreneurial Spirit Inspires COB Professor Shane Bowyer

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by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Shane Bowyer, MSU Management professor, feeds off of his entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for teaching.

Bowyer is a favorite professor of many students who’ve had him, but what does his life look like outside the craziness of the classroom? The inSIDER’s February Faculty Spotlight sheds more light on life outside the classroom.

Bowyer’s roots at MSU began in 1976 when both of his parents started working at the university. His dad was the baseball coach at MSU, a role he occupied for the next 34 years, helping the team to several milestones during his tenure. His mother worked in the Student Senate office.

He got his Bachelor’s Degree as a Maverick in 1991, then stayed another three years before earning his master’s in 1994. Bowyer wasn’t done there as he continued on to do more graduate work at Indiana State and then went on to receive his doctorate from Saint Mary’s.

Bowyer left MSU a few times after graduating with his master’s: first to coach baseball at two other universities, then, after returning to campus to teach for 12 years, he went to Bethany for five years. He has since returned and has remained anchored as a Maverick for the last four years.

Bowyer teaches several classes at MSU, but his favorite is classes are those involved with the Integrated Business Experience (IBE) program. In addition to teaching classes within the IBE program, Bowyer says one of his favorite parts of being a professor is seeing his students succeed.

“I love being around the students and seeing them get jobs.”

Shane Bowyer, Ed.D, Associate Professor of Management at Minnesota State

Bowyer does a lot more than just teach, too. He is involved with the Ag Today Club; a learning community; and Delta Sigma Pi, a business-based academic fraternity.

Outside of MSU, Bowyer enjoys running, boating, hunting and traveling with his family, which consists of his wife and two children. His wife, Laura, who is also an MSU graduate, teaches accounting at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. The Bowyer’s son, Austin, is a junior at Baylor University studying accounting. Their daughter, Gabrielle, is a freshman at Augustana University in St. Paul. She is also an accounting major, which Bowyer notes chuckling is, “Laura’s influence. Not mine!”

In addition to being a professor, mentor, father, husband and coach, Bowyer is also a successful businessman. He has started three accomplished business in his lifetime and attributes that success to his “entrepreneurial spirit.”

7 Questions with Shane Bowyer

  1. If you could only describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
    • Coach
  2. What’s your favorite band and/or type of music?
    • Bruce Springsteen and anything on KTIS
  3. What’s your favorite holiday?
    • Christmas
  4. What would you do if you won the lottery?
    • I would create a foundation to help others — but of course after I buy a few things!
  5. If you could make one rule for everyone to follow, what would it be?
    • The Golden Rule – everyone has to treat others as they wish to be treated
  6. Who inspires you to be better?
    • My parents and all of the students
  7. What message of advice would you give to your students?
    • Get involved, explore, work hard and focus on learning, not the grade.

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Fine-Tune Your Resume

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Are you struggling with what needs to go on your resume? Or even how to make a good first impression using your resume? The Career Development Center has resources and Career Advisors who can assist students on how to format resumes and walk them through on what key information you should highlight.

Mai Xee Vang, a Career Advisor from the Career Development Center says, “Having a properly formatted resume is one of the best things any student can do to advance themselves. Resumes are about selling yourself and here at the CDC, we have the resources to help students do that. A resume that helps a student stand out will help in any job they apply for.”

Here are some tips to help get started on a resume.

Be positive. Be honest. Stick to the facts.
• Avoid abbreviations.
• Appearance is important. Do not clutter your page. Generally, 0.5” – 1” margins are used. Use bold print and capital letters to emphasize important items.
• Don’t forget your name, address, phone and e-mail address. Be sure your e-mail address is professional sounding (i.e. alexbaumann9@gmail.com vs. vikingsfan99@hotmail.com!)
• Personal information such as age, marital status, height, weight should NOT be included on your resume.
• Do not include reference names, addresses, or phone numbers on your resume. List these on a separate sheet.
• Read the job description thoroughly and talk with people in the field to understand what the employer is looking for. Create a resume that highlights how you meet these qualifications.
• Create a master resume that includes everything you have ever done for record purposes. Then create a tailored resume simply by cutting and pasting information back in that is relevant to the specific position you are applying to.

For more tips on how on formatting resume from the Career Development Center job search handbook, click here.

Students have the option to set up a one to one meeting with a Career Advisor or they could stop in during Quick Stop hours from 12 P.M. – 3 P.M. Monday through Thursday every week to have their resume reviewed.

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Celebrating 150 Years of MSU: What It Means for You!

Minnesota State is set to celebrate a major milestone in 2018 as it will celebrate its 150th birthday.

“It’s a huge milestone for our institution,” Paul Hustoles, chair of the 150th observance, said. “It gives us an opportunity to really look at our past and an opportunity to think about the next 150 years. It’s not every day you get to celebrate your 150th birthday.”

Founded on Oct. 7, 1868, MSU is Minnesota’s third oldest university behind Winona State University (1858) and the University of Minnesota (1851). MSU has been celebrating over the last year and it will cap off the celebrations with homecoming and a few other events in the coming weeks.

“We have had more than 150 events during the past year, including this past summer,” Hustoles said. “We are just coming into our ‘grand finale week.'”

The full schedule of events for the 150th Celebration Week, courtesy of Paul Hustoles.

Celebration events include the “Stomping Through the Decades” Homecoming Parade, several presentations, dedications to MSU buildings, speakers and more. Saturday, Oct. 6 marks the finale of the celebration and will be the Birthday Bash party in the CSU.

“We are taking over the CSU and it should be a great time,” Hustoles said. “Of course we will have cake and ice cream, but also fun and games, a variety show, a big dance and an amazing laser show projected onto to the CSU.”

Hustoles said the event is free to “every member of our MSU community” and more details regarding the event should be available soon. He also stressed the importance of celebrating the university’s milestone.

“Current students will forever be part of our history. [There’s] no time like the present to celebrate our collective past and our anticipated future,” he said.

For more information about MSU’s 150th Observance, please contact Paul Hustoles at paul.hustoles@mnsu.edu or visit www.mnsu.edu/150/.

MavCONNECT

By: Morgan Stolpa

MavCONNECT is a tool for student, faculty and advisor success.

What is MavCONNECT?

Minnesota State University, Mankato, selected a suite of advising tools, MavCONNECT by Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™ to integrate our Student Information System (ISRS) to deliver advising notes, MavCares early alerts, Midterm Reports (MTRs), and online scheduling of advising appointments. MavCONNECT will create a specific role and a relationship between students, faculty, and advisors.

How can I use it to help my students?

  • Submit early alert and midterm reports
  • Send motivating messages of support (kudos) to students that are participating, improving, or showing good effort
  • Raise flags in the system at any point in the semester if you have concerns about a student’s progress
  • List office hours in MavCONNECT

MavCONNECT and Advising:

If you serve as an assigned advisor for students, MavCONNECT can be used to:

  • Allow students to self-schedule appointments during office hours you make available in the system
  • Learn at a glance which of your advisees may need additional help
  • Send emails to all or a select group of your advisees
  • Document and track your interactions in a secure, central location

If you’re interested in learning more about MavCONNECT, additional resources and training schedules are listed at www.mnsu.edu/mavconnect.

Faculty Spotlight

by: Morgan Stolpa

Carol Glasser, an assistant professor of Sociology within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, creates opportunities on-campus.      

Glasser, who likes to run and tries to do at least one half-marathon every year, said her two favorite things are teaching and research.

“My favorite part of this job is when I get to do research with students. I get to do this in lots of ways here—in the classroom setting, advising master’s students on their thesis projects, and working with undergraduates on independent studies,” she said.

Glasser came to Minnesota State University, Mankato, because “the sociology program is so cool.” There are two things she gets to do here that many Universities would not support. First, she specializes in applied and public sociology, meaning that she is committed to doing research driven by social justice and this can directly benefit the community.

In addition to applied and public sociology Glasser also studies animals. Many sociology programs don’t offer any classes on this, but when Glasser interviewed here she was encouraged to create an Animals and Society course. She has now been teaching this course for three years, and even started a Human-Animal Studies minor.

Besides the classroom, Glasser is the Director of Kessel Peace Institute at MNSU. This organization is dedicated to advancing the understanding and the existence of peace at all levels, from the individual to the global community. Tune in next week to hear her opinion on Holocaust awareness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Y4_6PD0Z4

 

12 Questions with Carol Glasser.

What is your spirit animal?

“I can’t pick just one spirit animal. As someone who studies the human-animal relationship and is committed to social justice, the plight of all animals, human and nonhuman, moves me. I also think there is something inspirational and worth emulating in every species. But if you asked people who know me well what my spirit animal is, they would guess a rabbit.”

What word describes you best? 

“Committed.”

What three items would you want if you were stranded on an island? 

“Vegetable seeds, a book on how to grow vegetables, and a very long book.”

Do you know any other languages other than English? 

“Unfortunately, no.”

Favorite band or type of music? 

“I don’t actually listen to much music but I enjoy almost anything live.”

What’s your favorite animal and the animal you are most scared of? 

“I am not sure I can answer this, as you can see in Question #1 I have a hard time answering animal-related questions simply!”

Who inspires you to be better? 

“My dad’s approach to life inspires me to be better. He wakes up each day and approaches the daily routines of life (like working out, going to work, doing chores) with excitement and appreciation. He also gets a lot of joy from small things, like a walk, or talking on the phone to a friend. I am always striving to be more content in my daily life like he is, which often means pushing myself to be a better person so that I am happy with how I live my life. He also inspires me to be better because he is a dad and does awesome dad things to motivate me—like cheering me on at the finish line when I run a race or telling me he is proud when I accomplish new goals.”

What is your favorite movie series? 

“I honestly do not have one. I prefer to binge watch TV series over watching movies. As for favorite TV series, I could watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fireflyare at the top.”

Favorite holiday? 

“My birthday. (Is that a holiday?)”

If you could make on rule that everyone had to follow, what would you make?

“I am very committed to animal rights as well as peace and anti-war activism. One rule that would help end animal abuse and war would be: Do not kill anyone (No matter what their species is).”

What would be your first move after winning the Minnesota lottery? 

“I would drive straight to the state office to turn in the ticket and call my financial adviser on the way.”

What’s your favorite course to teach? 

“Sociology in Action is my favorite course to teach. This is a course for sociology majors in applied and public sociology that I teach every spring. Each semester the class works on a different social justice issue; students design and conduct research projects that directly help organizations deal with that issue. Last year our class researched the issue of food insecurity and hunger on the Minnesota State Mankato campus so we could help the university find better ways to help students access healthy and affordable food.”

 

 

New Student Government President Plans Improvement

Inauguration of New Student Government is April 18

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

Minnesota State University had one of its highest voter turnouts ever in the recent Student Government election that seated Mavericks United’s MeMe Cronin as the new President with 54 percent of the 1,762 votes.

Cronin and her Vice President, Katelynn Ogunfolami, campaigned to understand and address student needs if elected.

“We were tabling in different locations, meeting with RSOs, taking to students in classes, promoting through social media and poster, making buttons and even baking cookies,” Cronin said. “It was a lot of work, but luckily Katelynn and I were able to keep each other accountable.”

As a Student Senator, Cronin said she decided to run for President after seeing things that could be improved.

“I see a lot of issues on campus that I want to address. When Katelynn and I came together, both of us formed a vision of what we wanted to accomplish next year and I knew the two of us could be the people to actually create that change,” she said.

Though Cronin expects new experiences as President, it won’t change who she is.

“I don’t think I will necessarily have to change the way I act or carry myself. There will definitely be new pressures I’ll face, like having to aid the senators and being a main point of contact for student government,” she said. “But I will definitely hold every senator responsible to the same standards I do for myself. Each of us that were elected were motivated to be the voice for their constituency, so we need to do our students that justice.”

Cronin said her primary goal as Student Government President will continue to listen to student concerns and seek ways to address them. She wants her senators to do the same.

“I want all the students of MNSU to know that Katelynn and I, as well as all of the newly elected senators are motivated to aid our students ,” she said. “Katelynn and I are always open and willing to hear any concern from any student on campus.”

Inauguration of the 2018-19 Student Government will be Wednesday, April 18, at 5 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Student Government meets Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in Nickerson Conference Room in the Centennial Student Union. For more information about Student Government, visit www.mnsu.edu/mssa

57-Year History: Traditions Old and New Help Greek Community Flourish

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

Marie Bruce, “The First Lady of Mankato State”

Despite periods of unrest and uncertainty, Fraternity and Society Life at Minnesota State Mankato continues to evolve and preserve values as new generations take the baton.

To propel the Greek community and their initiatives into the future, members are resurrecting traditions from the past.

Mavathon, a fun-filled day of dance, games and food, was revived in 2011 after an 8-year hiatus and has been held annually ever since raising over $100,000 in charity for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

This year was state record-breaking with around $30,000 raised.

“The students at MSU, Mankato are making an investment in the children treated at Gillette, because often times they have to be seen throughout their lifetimes,” said Becky DeRosia, Development Associate for Gillette in Our Chapter: Celebrating 50 years of Leadership, Scholarship, Service and Friendship by Ashley Portra. “MSU, Mankato has not only brought back a tradition on their campus but is also giving the children at Gillette a brighter future.”

‘MSU, Mankato has not only brought back a tradition on their campus but is also giving the children at Gillette a brighter future.’

– Becky DeRosia, Gillette Children’s Speciality Healthcare

Charity events like Mavathon have been crucial to Greek societies’ success and purpose. The 50-year anniversary of Greek life at MSU was monumental because it showed that persistence in fellowship and camaraderie can keep a dream alive even through a rough patch.

With the majority of young people in the 1960s and ’70s opposed to the Vietnam War, a wall was built between some of the nation’s youth and their pro-war elders. Political movements and disagreement between students and administration during the 1970s nearly brought an end to MSU’s Greek Life as we know it today. Club members weren’t displaying their letters and mostly operated behind the scenes. With time things began to recuperate and the growth is still ongoing.

“When arriving on campus in 2007, I did not know there were fraternities and sororities,” said Erik Heller, Lambda Chi Alpha alumnus in Our Chapter: Celebrating 50 years. “Now it’s hard to go around campus without seeing Greek letters, members, events, or posters.”

On its 50th birthday in 2011, the Greek community reached 400 members for the first time with help from John Bulcock, assistant director of Student Activities for Greek Life and Off-Campus Housing. His contribution has helped to boost community size and enthusiasm with members and non-members. Bulcock’s success in growing Greek interest parallels one of his predecessors—Marie Bruce.

Bruce, “The First Lady of Mankato State,” acted as the main driving force behind Greek development and pride at MSU. As Dean of Women, she worked to gain accreditation from the American Association of University Women and established a strong interest in Greek life on campus with help from Dr. Margaret Preska and Dr. Clarence Crawford.

“In 1957, 13 men founded Alpha Beta Mu, the first social fraternity on the Mankato State College campus, under the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, service, and development of leadership and social qualities,” Portra writes in Our Chapter: Celebrating 50 years. “Originally students and administration opposed officially recognizing the group as an organization however because of their persistence and interest in community service, Alpha Beta Mu was granted recognition as MSC’s first local fraternity on campus by the Student Senate on February 4, 1959.”

Bruce’s vision for a more cohesive campus and Alpha Beta Mu’s determination to be recognized as an accredited entity paved the road for a total of 10 nationally recognized fraternities and sororities at MSU today. Tens of thousands of Mankato brothers and sisters have had the opportunity to develop leadership, friendship, scholarship and service skills with help from their peers and alums.

As Bruce said, “to be Greek is to be involved and to learn the necessity of cooperation.”

 

 

Faculty Faces features Queen Booker

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many of you have your favorite classroom mentor – that professor or instructor who made learning fun, who believed in you and inspired a passion to learn or pursue your dreams. If you have a faculty member you would like to see featured, send an email to csuinfo@mnsu.edu

Continental Traveler Seeks Global Community 

By Patricia Anyango
Graduate Assistant, CSU Communications

 

Queen Booker still needs to see the bottom of the world.

An associate professor of Management within the College of Business who loves to travel, Queen said many would be surprised to know that she has travelled to all the continents except Antarctica. Among her favorite – and most daring – journeys was her travels in Angola during the late 1990s.

“I loved the people and the most courageous thing I ever did was travel there to determine what aid was needed for civilians who were trying to survive the civil war,” she said. The payoff was knowing that what she was doing in Angola had a positive effect.

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Queen has always been passionate about helping communities and making them stronger. She has worked with the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other nonprofit organizations focusing on economic empowerment of rural communities.

Although her background is in community development, Queen got into academia to serve as a resource and source of encouragement to students.  Helping them see the importance of community and economic development is at the heart of her teaching philosophy.

“Be engaged, think and look outside your classroom and yourself and look at how you can make a difference in your community,” is her advice to students.

Besides the classroom, Queen offers guidance to students involved with African Students’ Organization for Development and Progress (ASODP), Liberia Student Association & African Student Association (ASA). In and outside the classroom, Queen remains actively involved in the advancement of diversity on campus. You may also find her singing some of the R&B classics in Centennial Student Union during daytime karaoke events.


I would like for students to remember me as someone who genuinely cared about their long-term success and well-being. –  Queen Booker


Queen holds a doctorate from the University of Mississippi, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s from Harvard University. During her 14 years at Minnesota State Mankato, she has taught subjects like Principles of Management, Ethics, Operations Management and Management Information Systems.


If she had a superpower, what would it be? 12 questions with Queen Booker

  1. What did you do for fun growing up? I was and still am a complete bookworm. I read books. My early favorites were the Child Craft books and World Book encyclopedias followed closely by the Sam and Ann adventure series, especially in the later books where the authors focused on Greek and Roman mythology.
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory? When I was in first grade, I was named homecoming queen of our elementary and middle schools. It was the one and only time I have ever been Queen Queen!
  3. Would you rather watch a movie or read a book? Oh in a heartbeat: Read a book!
  4. Which superpower would you choose? I would chose the power to summon the elements of a storm (lightning; rain; wind; snow) like Thor.
  5. Which fad do you wish would come back, and which do you wish would disappear?  The fad that I wish would disappear is the practice of wearing pants around the hips and the one I wish would come back is men opening the car door for women.
  6. Do you collect anything? I collect post cards and t-shirts. Instead of taking pictures when I travel I purchase post cards and t-shirts to recall my favorite memories of my trips.
  7. What would you do if you weren’t a professor? If I weren’t a professor, I would most likely have been a writer of “love inspired” religious novels.
  8. What does your perfect day include? A perfect day for me is one where it snows and then it stops before I have to drive in it! I love the snow but hate driving in it!
  9. Who is your hero/heroine? I don’t have a specific hero/heroine. But I admire anyone who is willing to stand up for what they truly believe as long as it doesn’t bring harm to others or themselves.
  10. Where in the world would you like to live? I would love to live in the Mississippi delta again. There is just something about being able to get peaches and plums fresh off the tree!
  11. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? If I could go back in time, I would go back to 1982 and relive my first year of college. I made many mistakes during that first year including but not limited to eating too many Nutty Bars and Oreo cookies that caused me miss a few classes. Missing those few classes could have ended my academic future but I was lucky enough to have professors who cared enough to address my problem and helped me to continue my education. Being a professor now, I realize how important it was to have caring professors but I also know that it was my responsibility to take care of myself. So I would go back and be a better person during that first year of college.
  12. If you could share a meal with any 3 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?  If I could share a meal with any three individuals, I would choose my mom, my maternal Aunt Mae Bell and my maternal grandmother Gertrude all of whom have passed on. I never had the chance to share a meal with them at the same time although all three had a profound impact on the woman I now am.

Faculty Focus features GUARIONEX SALIVIA

For Dr. Guarionex Salivia, the family business is teaching.

“My mom is a high school teacher, my father was a university professor and most of my uncles have taught at university level,” Salivia said. “My grandfather was a medical doctor and he was also a teacher. I have a brother who is finishing a doctorate who will be a professor, and two of my brothers are elementary schoolteachers. Everyone in my family is a teacher!”

Becoming a university professor was a natural result of growing up around so many academics, but his love for teaching goes deeper than tradition.


“Standing in front of all those people and having them somehow learn something from me; that is really exciting.”
– Guarionex Salivia


“Standing in front of all those people and having them somehow learn something from me; that is really exciting,” Salivia said. “That’s why I love teaching. Even if it’s only 10 percent of the students that get something out of the class. That’s what motivates me.”

Outside of school, Dr. Salivia likes to mountain climb, cross-country ski and catch up on the many Netflix series he has started. He also loves to play soccer.

“I used to play soccer in college so I’ve been trying to stay in shape for when the next opportunity arises,” Salivia said. “I try to connect with the students as much as I can, and in the context of sports, it would be nice to connect with a group of students that play soccer and would be open to involving faculty.”

Dr. Salivia is on the brink of getting his tenure promotion. He is excited to continue expanding his research and teaching spectrum at Minnesota State, Mankato.


Find out what his spirit animal is and why plus more in 10 questions with Guarionex Salivia.

  1. What is your favorite music? I listen to anything from Spanish rock to reggae. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Marley.
  2. Where is your hometown? I’m from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  3. What is your favorite movie? Star Wars, but only the original trilogy. Not the prequels and not the enhanced versions. I read recently that Disney is going to release the original untampered with trilogy, and I cannot wait until that happens so I can get my hands on it.
  4. What is your spirit animal? The dragon. I was born in 1976, which is the year of the dragon in the Chinese calendar.
  5. What word best describes you? I like to think of myself as a highly collaborative person. I don’t know if that’s how people perceive me, but that’s how I would like to be perceived. I do my best to collaborate.
  6. If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you want? If I can choose anything, then a boat. A knife, a rope and a boat.
  7. Where in the world would you like to live? There is this one town I visited in the northwestern part of Italy where my ancestors from my mother’s side are from called Genoa, Italy. I loved it. It’s a port-town and it’s interesting because the town is built on a hill. It’s beautiful.
  8. Do you speak any second languages? My native language is Spanish, and I also speak Italian.
  9. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Catch up on all my Netflix. I’m watching too much stuff and it’s hard to catch up.
  10. Do you have a hero/heroine? I look up to my father a lot because he was also a university professor. I think of him as a figure to emulate. I rely a lot on my wife, not just for support, but also because we compliment each other. It’s not about heroics, it’s about life experiences.

Faculty Focus features TONYA BUTLER

Music Industry Professor Gains Perspective From Clint Eastwood ‘Spaghetti Western’

Tonya was the cover feature in the River Valley Magazine in September 2016. View the magazine and article here.

By REED CARR
CSU Public Relations Intern

Tonya Butler, professor of music industry studies, is a big fan of Clint Eastwood movies. “For a Few Dollars More” she finds a lesson in self-determination.

A scene in the spaghetti western has a reverend gunslinger on a train bound for Sante Fe – but he plans to get off in Tucumcari. When he’s told the train won’t stop there, he looks at the man and says, “This train will stop in Tucumcari,” and pulls the emergency cord.

“There’s just something about that scene that gets me,” Tonya said. “The way I feel is somebody is always telling you about what’s not gonna happen or what can happen. Well I say this train is stopping there. That’s how I feel about my whole life. Don’t tell me what this train is doing. I’ll tell the train where to go.”

Tonya’s “optimistic, outgoing, and out of sight” personality is revered by her students and faculty members. It’s even helped her win a spot on the television game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.”

“It was so much fun,” Tonya said. “Wayne [Brady] was cool. He was laid back, but he was there to work. I got to meet him and give him a hug on stage. I won a living room furniture suite, wireless stereo, iPod Touch, and a $500 gift certificate to iTunes.”

Her comfortability in front of large groups has given her more than just furniture and electronics. She recently won the Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest for the entire state of Minnesota.

“Toastmasters has humorous speech and international speech each year,” Tonya said. “You give a speech at club level and win it, then you go to the area level which is a bunch of clubs, then you do it at the division level which is a bunch of areas, then at the district level which is a bunch of divisions. I’m supposed to enter the international speech competition this Thursday which goes all around the world.”

Tonya was used to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, where she worked as an entertainment lawyer. The Midwest lifestyle has been a big change.


“Living here in Minnesota and being at MSU has really taught me to take things in stride a little bit more.” – Tonya Butler


“I’m a lot more patient than I used to be,” she said. “I think it has something to do with the climate and the students here. Everyone is laid back and it kinda makes you laid back. Living here in Minnesota and being at MSU has really taught me to take things in stride a little bit more.”

Contributing to student’s education and making a positive impact is what motivates her. She wants to lead a life that gives back to people. With three years under her belt at Minnesota State Mankato, she’s helped spread big ideas and transfer her knowledge of the music industry to students who need it.


 You may not want to fly with Tonya Butler. Find out why in her 15-question quiz

  1. Favorite type of music? Earth Wind and Fire, Cameo, and Commodores
  2. Do you play any instruments? No, I’m the only faculty member in the department that that doesn’t play an instrument.
  3. What is it you like about music? I just love the way it makes you feel. There are very few things that can make you feel good when you’re feeling bad and music is one of them.
  4. Where is your hometown? Watts, California
  5. What did you do for fun growing up? Fun for me was singing in talent shows even though I wasn’t a great singer and reading and learning even outside of school. I was one of those kind of kids. I was a little nerdy.
  6. Would you rather watch a movie or read a book?    I would rather watch a movie. I like to see someone else’s interpretation. “The Good the Bad and the Ugly.” That is my movie.
  7. Which superpower would you choose?    I would not want to read minds or see the future. I know that. Super speed so I can run fast and do stuff fast.
  8. Which fad do you wish would come back, and which do you wish would disappear? I wish skinny jeans would go away. I wish bell bottoms would come back and platform shoes. I’d like flared leg jeans. I miss those.
  9. Do you collect anything? Yes, I collect black angels. So, whether they’re ceramic or wooden or little statues, dolls, paintings; anything black angel.
  10. Are you in any clubs or organization? I’m a member of The Recording Academy. I’m the chair of business and industry for the College of Music Society. I’m a member NABFEM, which is the National Association of Black Female Executives of Music and Entertainment.
  11. What would you do if you weren’t a professor? If I wasn’t a professor, I would be a motivational speaker. I like to share stories.
  12. What does your perfect day include? My perfect day would be waking up when I want to, speaking or teaching for an hour or two, going to the mall, shopping or watching a movie, and then just spending time with family. Nothing special. I don’t have to be on a yacht or on a beach. I’ve done all that.
  13. Who is your hero/heroine? I have a friend; her name is Rhea. She has bone marrow cancer. She is like the bravest, most spiritual, person I’ve ever known. She’s my hero.
  14. Where in the world would you like to live? I’d probably want to live somewhere back in California, in southern California somewhere because I’d be closest to my family.
  15. What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? Jumping down the slide on a plane that had to emergency land. You don’t want to fly with me. I’ve had it happen three times.